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Current and future potential distributions of Helicoverpa punctigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): is this the next FAW?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 September 2021

Ruan C. de M. Oliveira*
Programa de Pós-graduação em Agronomia/Fitotecnia, Universidade Federal do Ceará – UFC, Av. Mister Hull, 2977, 60356-001, Fortaleza CE, Brazil
Myron P. Zalucki
School of Biological Science, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD4072, Australia
Patrik L. Pastori
Programa de Pós-graduação em Agronomia/Fitotecnia, Universidade Federal do Ceará – UFC, Av. Mister Hull, 2977, 60356-001, Fortaleza CE, Brazil
Darren J. Kriticos
School of Biological Science, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD4072, Australia CSIRO Health & Biosecurity, P.O. Box 1700, Canberra, ACT2601, Australia
Author for correspondence: Ruan C. de M. Oliveira, Email:


Helicoverpa punctigera (Wallengren), the native budworm, is an important highly polyphagous pest that has caused serious damage on a wide variety of crops in Australia. In Australia, its range overlaps that of its congener, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), a notorious invasive pest globally. We used CLIMEX, a bioclimatic niche modelling software package, to estimate the potential geographical distribution of H. punctigera under current and future climates (A1B scenario). Under both current and future climate conditions, the model indicates that H. punctigera could establish throughout the tropics and subtropics. Comparing the potential distributions under each climate scenario revealed that in the future its potential distribution is likely to shift poleward and into higher altitudes, into areas that are currently too cold as observed in the South of Brazil, Europe, North America, South East Asia, and South Pacific Islands including New Zealand. The projected potential distribution can inform pre- and post-border biosecurity strategies for the management of this pest in each country.

Research Paper
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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